Friday, October 2, 2009

Two Expirations.What Should You Do? Part II

I could have done a better job of explaining the "coupon".

Actually, I had donated to a fundraiser and it was part of a silent auction. It was a certificate, now that I think about it; that entitled the bearer to one free service provided by our company.

But, as I described, the coupon had expired on the very day she called. That being said... here's the deal.

Let's say you called me up, and you said something to the effect of:

"Entrepreneur Chick, I am just so upset! My car's always breaking down, I don't know what's wrong with it, it's been in the shop three times now. Also, my kids keep leaving huge messes all over the house; I've asked them repeatedly NOT to eat in the family room and now there's pizza stains on the carpet and peanut butter and jelly droppings on the sofa. And my husband! He doesn't do anything to help out around here! You should see this laundry!"

I'd listen, and then when she's good and finished I'd say:

"So. You feel frustrated?"

"That's IT! I feel frustrated!"

It's kinda crazy that when I mirror back some one's feelings, more often than not, you'd think I was some sort of powerful mind reader. Because they all say, "That's IT!," amazed I understand so perfectly.

I try to listen to not only what people are saying, but the underlying emotion behind the words.

Applying that to our "certificate bearer" who said, "There's been a death in the family, could you extend the coupon?" This is what I heard she was saying,:

"I want to use guilt to manipulate you to do it my way. I want you to feel sorry for me so you will do it my way." ("Even though I've had half a year to call you up.")

Entrepreneur Chick does not respond well to guilt. You're going to have a hard time "guilting" me into anything, or "shaming" me into anything.

Additionally, a contract is a contract. And an expiration date is an expiration date. It ain't personal, it's business. Trying to make it personal tells me you don't understand much about business.

No, I didn't honor it and I didn't call her back. I think she gets my drift.


  1. I think she does too! I'm here getting caught up on a week's worth of blog reading, now that I can actually sit up on the couch without my head exploding!!!! Happy Saturday!

  2. Julie,

    Yeah. Haven't heard from her.

    > I adore reading blogs! I know what you mean. Happy Saturday to you too, only now, it's Sunday. So, Happy Sunday. lol

  3. Now I wouldn't have taken it as someone trying to guilt manipulate me, I would have taken it as an opportunity to extend a positive image of the company.

    Much like when someone contacts you with a complaint - dealt with properly its and opportunity to create a satisfied, lifelong, loyal customer who felt they were taken seriously.

    However, I fully admit to not being someone who is on a wealthy businessman career path :)

  4. Kim,

    "I would have taken it as an opportunity to extend a positive image of the company."

    Normally, I could NOT agree more. You're so right.

    But the deal was- I've got a lot of irons in the fire at once. All my companies do more than one thing.

    Sometimes I don't want your business. Odd, right? Let me explain-

    (1) We no longer specalize in that service I donated. Therefore, I would not go out of my way to build it again.

    (2) Even if we did- because of the demographic from which she came- I highly suspect she would not have been my qualified buyer.

    Now, my OTHER company? Not so. It's absolutely a non-negotiable that customer retention and service are top priority.

    My "customers" in this company are other businesses- who pay and pay and pay. Better believe I'm going to keep 'em happy!

    Therefore, I have a higher priority with one, but not the other (only due to that service being essentially phased out.)

    We are well respected and known in our community- which I am very grateful for. My husband serves on the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce; and we serve on other non-profits and fundraising efforts.

    BTW, LOVE your blog!